People with heart disease and other chronic conditions are usually prescribed one or more medications. But most take them only about half the time. Each year, this high rate of "nonadherence" leads to an estimated 125,000 deaths in the United States and costs the health care system between $100 billion and $300 billion.
The February 2012 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter looks at this huge problem and offers practical tips to help people take the medications they need.
Cost is one barrier, of course, but so are complicated dosing regimens, hassles getting prescriptions filled, and side effects. The February Heart Letter offers some ideas for getting beyond the barriers:
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